What to Do with That List Now That You Have It
You probably hear it all the time: email lists are vital for businesses. Emails lists are constantly lauded as one of the most valuable assets an organization can have. Some experts claim email remains one of the most effective forms of marketing. It’s even effective among Millennials. But just knowing how successful email marketing is isn’t enough, and actually having that important email list is only the first step in making email marketing work for your business.
(Note – We recently conducted a webinar about Email Best Practices. View Replay)
To make the most of your email list, there are a few steps you need to take before even sending out that first email, and there are several ways you can ensure you maintain an active and impactful presence in the inboxes of your recipients.
What’s Your Email Address?
First, it’s crucial to think about your own email. What’s your sender address? Who are these emails that you’re sending out coming from? How does it look? Does is accurately brand you?
At some point, you’ve likely gotten an email from a do-not-reply@ email address. You know from having received emails like that that it doesn’t look good. It feels impersonal and seems so automated that you have no motivation to read it. You might not even be able to tell who it is from.
You can avoid this same mistake by being aware of your sender address and ensuring that it is something that will let your recipients know exactly who is contacting them and that you care enough about your email subscribers to put some effort in. If this isn’t the case with your current sender address, change it. Have sales help you take a look at your entire marketing email list, either in your marketing automation software or within your customer relationship management (CRM) software. If sales isn’t using a CRM to help you build your email list, consider pulling together some CRM recommendations that will fit your needs (and that will integrate with your marketing automation tool!). A CRM will help you keep your lists up to date and organize the marketing to sales handover information handover.
Who Are You Emailing?
“Welcome Valued Client:”
When someone gets an email from a mailing list, they know it’s from a mailing list. There’s no reason to remind them. Generic openings make an email feel impersonal and readers are likely to disengage. Fortunately, it’s easy to send more personalized emails to everyone on your list.
Using substitution tags enables you to greet every individual quickly and easily. This will provide a personal touch to your emails, making your recipients feel like you took some time and put in some effort to each message. And if they think the email was important to you, it is more likely to be a little more important to them!
Segmented lists are another great personalization option that lets subscribers opt in to the content they are interested in instead of receiving every email that goes out to everyone on the list. Allowing recipients the power to decide what kinds of emails (and how many) they receive will help ensure that they are actually reading what you send them, instead of sending it straight to the trash.
What’s In Your Email?
The most important part of your email is, of course, the content. Once you’ve established your email list, it is imperative that you consistently send out content that keeps recipients engaged. An obvious example of content that tends to produce good results is any type of deal or promotion. Offering discounts, an opportunity to win something, or even a sneak peak at an upcoming product will typically keep your readers interested.
However, not every organization has the need or occasion to include these types of offers in emails. Some other appealing content ideas include reminders about upcoming events, satisfaction surveys so recipients can offer feedback (maybe with some incentive!), and perhaps even an invitation to opt in to other mailing lists within your organization.
Even if you can’t offer any of this, you can still provide interesting and informative emails that are applicable to your clients and can help you generate leads or increase conversion rates. Just remember what people really want from email: easy reads with relevant, quality content.
How’s Your Email Doing?
Once you’ve put the time and effort into compiling an email list and creating some solid, personalized content, you want to make sure your email marketing campaign is successful. Using tools to analyze your emails for effectiveness will help you see what’s working and what isn’t.
Conducting A/B testing will allow you to compare responses to two different email formats and gauge success by looking at multiple metrics, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. You can even test out different elements of your email, like the subject line, body text, embedded lengths, or images to see what works best for your organization.
Another important factor in determining an email’s effectiveness is timing. When are you sending your emails out? What time of day? Which days of the week? How often are you sending them?
There is lots of information out there about the best timing for emails, but it is important to keep in mind that every email list is different, and your recipients’ needs and preferences might vary greatly. Therefore, you might not really benefit from the standard advice. Instead, it’s best to analyze your timing, too, so you can really determine when your emails are making the biggest impact.
A/B testing, timing analysis, and other evaluation tools are available with most email campaign software.
What Else Can You Do?
There are a few additional ways to make the most out of the email list!
- Be sure your emails are mobile friendly, since that’s how most people are opening and reading emails.
- Make sure your email looks good! Having some uniform visual appeal will help brand you and make your emails more enjoyable to read.
- Include some links. You want to link back to your site, of course; but it’s also important to include an easily accessible link to change email preferences, or even opt out.
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Laura Hudgens is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com. She is a communications instructor and freelance writer who studies and writes about technology, media, science, and health.